George Beranger

George Beranger (born George Augustus Beringer,[1] 27 March 1893 – 8 March 1973), also known as André Beranger, was an Australian actor and Hollywood and stage director.[1]

George Beranger
Beranger in D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915)
Born
George Augustus Beringer

(1893-03-27)27 March 1893
Died8 March 1973(1973-03-08) (aged 79)
Laguna Beach, California
OccupationActor, film director
Years active1913–1950

Early life

Beranger was born in Enmore, New South Wales, Australia, the youngest of five sons of Caroline Mondientz and Adam Beringer, a German engine fitter. His mother committed suicide when he was three years old and he left home at the age of 14.[2] He studied acting at the College of Elocution and Dramatic Art founded by Scottish actor Walter Bentley.[2]

Career

Beranger began playing Shakespearean roles at the age of sixteen with the Walter Bentley Players. He then emigrated from Australia to California, United States in 1912[1] and worked in the silent film industry in Hollywood. According to a researcher, he "reinvented himself in Hollywood, claiming French parentage, birth on a French ocean liner off the coast of Australia and a Paris education."[2] Beranger worked under the names George Alexandre Beranger and André de Beranger.

By the 1920s, Beranger had become a star, appearing in the movies of Ernst Lubitsch and D. W. Griffith.[2] He also directed ten films between 1914 and 1924. Beranger owned a large Spanish-style home in Laguna Beach, rented a room at the Hollywood Athletic Club and owned an apartment in Paris, France.[2]

Beranger eventually appeared in more than 140 films between 1913 and 1950. Beranger's career declined following the 1930s Great Depression and the advent of sound film, and his roles in later films were small and often uncredited. He supplemented his income as a draftsman for the Los Angeles City Council. He sold his large properties and moved into a modest cottage beside his house in Laguna Beach.[2]

He entered into a "lavender marriage" with a neighbouring widow, but they never shared the same house and he continued his gay lifestyle unabated.[3]

Beranger retired in 1952 and lived his later years in seclusion.[4] He was found dead of natural causes in his home on 8 March 1973.[5]

Selected filmography

References

  1. Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1887–1940; Microfilm Serial: M1524; Microfilm Roll: 2.
  2. Cosgrove, Bryony (3 March 2012). "The stuff of silent legend". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  3. Bryony Cosgrove, "The stuff of silent legend", The Saturday Age, 3 March 2012, Life&Style, p. 18
  4. Kane, Rich (6 March 2012). "A Laguna Beach Silent Film Star's Story Sounds a Lot Like "The Artist"". Laguna Beach Patch. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  5. "Film Maker G A Beranger Dies in Laguna". Los Angeles Times. Laguna Beach. 9 March 1973. p. Obituary.

Further reading

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